Mary-Louise Frances (Burns) Fennessy

May 8, 1931 ~ November 3, 2019 (age 88)

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Charlotte, NC - Mary-Louise Frances Burns Fennessy – died November 3, 2019,  age 88 – peacefully but unexpectedly at her home within the community of Southminster.  Her sharp mind, warm smile, strong will, and fierce determination will long be remembered.  This tiny dynamo will be greatly missed by family and friends alike. Her curious mind remains an inspiration to all.  Born in 1931 in Englewood and raised in Cliffside Park NJ, Mary-Louise was the only child of Dr. Robert Leo Burns and Louise Frances Baker.  While at college, her beauty and brains caught the attention of the dashing young Eamon Terence Fennessy.  They married in 1956 and enjoyed 59 wonderful years until his death in 2016.  Mary-Louise is survived by her five children: Kevin (Nancy); Maureen Bousa (Edward); Terence (Lori); Meaghan Keeley (Tyler) and Conor (Maura).  Mary-Louise’s intellectual brilliance and passion for science will be carried on by her fifteen grandchildren: Marina Morrissey (Patrick); Eamon Bousa; Dr. Conor Keeley (fiancée Ann Louise Seaton); Grace Fennessy; Rory Keeley; Joseph Fennessy; Bridget Bousa; Liam Fennessy; Emma Fennessy; Monica Bousa; Duncan Keeley; Kelly Fennessy; Rose Fennessy; Seamus Fennessy; Killeen Fennessy and great-granddaughter Frances Morrissey.  Mary-Louise graduated at the top of her class from both The Academy of the Holy Angels, Fort Lee, NJ (1949) and The College of Notre Dame, Baltimore, MD (1953).  In 1955, she was one of only three women to receive a MS in Biological Sciences from Fordham University.  Mary-Louise joined the faculty of Manhattanville College and taught ‘Introduction to Biology’ until the birth of her first child in 1959.  Four more children arrived in quick succession.  While raising her family in Upper Saddle River NJ, Mary-Louise was an active volunteer in her community – especially in service to her parish, The Church of the Presentation.  After raising her children, she returned to teaching as a substitute in the Upper Saddle River Public Schools. In 1990, Mary-Louise & Eamon moved to Prides Crossing MA, where she immersed herself in genealogy and traced her family roots back to the American Revolution.  She joined the Daughters of the American Revolution and was active for many years.  In addition, she was a patron of the Peabody Essex Museum – which combined her interests in art, history and culture.  In 2019, Mary-Louise moved to warmer weather near her youngest daughter in Charlotte NC.  She embraced the change and became actively engaged in the vibrant community of Southminster.  Mary-Louise was an avid reader, a member of the Southminster Book Club, and an enthusiastic supporter of the Nantucket Book Festival.  She prized the adventure of travel – and her passport was marked with countries around the globe.


Her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10AM on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at St. Theresa of Avila Church, 2078 Centre Street, West Roxbury MA followed by a burial at Mt. Benedict Cemetery, 409 Corey Street, West Roxbury MA.



In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the School Sisters of Notre Dame-Atlantic Midwest Province, 6401 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD  21212, or securely online at



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Funeral Mass
November 16, 2019

10:00 AM
St. Theresa of Avila
Centre St.
West Roxbury, MA 02132

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